Rad, just checking. Thank you for reading; hope you've been enjoying it.>>350427>finally, the hallway you are following terminates in a cul-de-sac>amid a forest of massive chairs and sofas and ottomans stands an ordinary child-sized chair>it's facing away from you, but you can tell there's a pony sitting in it"D-daddy?">you hear a small, familiar voice>Diamond Tiara turns around in her chair "Oh. It's just you.">she turns back around>her hopeful tone has gone flat>once again, you feel the urge to introduce her to the back of your hand>but her bratty posturing seems a little half-hearted this time>you decide to let it drop
"You're looking for your Dad?" you say>her face tries to assume that familiar haughty expression>but her heart is clearly not in it>a moment later she lets it go and just nods "Yeah.">you're both silent for a moment>a faint peal of laughter echoes in the background>Diamond Tiara shifts uncomfortably in her chair "I have this dream a lot,"
she says. "I keep running around and...and looking...for my Dad. I never find him.">internally, you roll your eyes>daddy issues>what a shock>instead of voicing your thoughts, though, you place a comforting hand on her shoulder>or withers, or whatever horses have exactly>you can feel her relax a little
"Look, kid," you say after a moment. "You've basically got what they call 'rich girl problems.' In other words, you have no real problems.">she looks up at you angrily>there it is>that trademark arrogance is back>she looks like her old self again>you ruffle her mane>or the back of her mane, anyway>the part that isn't covered by that silly tiara
"Calm down. It means you've got nothing to worry about, you're just working yourself up over something stupid that's probably just in your head.">you gesture at the gigantic, creepy furniture and the towering walls
"So whatever all this is? You can just let it go.">she shakes herself free of your grasp and fixes her mane with an irritated grunt>once again you hear that ominous rumbling that has been behind you for awhile>Diamond Tiara's ears prick up at the sound
"What is that, anyway?" you ask "I don't know. It always chases me into this corner, but...">she trails off, glancing apprehensively behind her "...I always wake up before I can see what it is.">you once again put a reassuring hand on her shoulder>or withers, or whatever
"Hey, I've got a wild idea.">she looks up at you skeptically
"Instead of running away, let's go find out what it is.">she pulls away from you in alarm "Are you crazy?!?"
"Come on. You said yourself you don't know what it is, right?" "Y-yeah..."
"So? It's probably nothing. Anyway, we won't know until we go and see.">she stares apprehensively toward the ground "I don't know..."
"Oh, come on. Sometimes, you just...you gotta stand up tall. Learn to face your fears, you know? You'll see that they can't hurt you.">she looks back up at you "You really think there's nothing to be afraid of?">you flash her a reassuring grin and ruffle the back of her mane again>she straightens it out with an annoyed grunt
"Sure I do. Now let's go have a look, what do you say?">before she can answer, you turn around and began walking back down the hall>a moment later, you hear the sound of tiny hooves tapping against the ground behind you "Wait for me!">the two of you walk back down the corridor, side by side>the giant furniture is still towering over you, but somehow the mood feels a bit less ominous
"...so anyway...">you continue lecturing the filly as you walk>she seems a little more at ease now
"...you really ought to lighten up a little, you know? It's not good to let yourself get so worked up about dumb little things." "It's not dumb! It's like...my Dad doesn't even have time for me anymore! We used to do stuff together all the time when I was little, but now it's like...he's always at work, or away, or doing something else...">you silently roll your eyes again
"So it's pretty much what I said, right? Rich girl problems.">she glares at you>you shrug
"Look, kid, I'm sympathetic, but you're not the only one with troubles. You should have heard some of the sad crap I've had to listen to tonight. That one little filly, Apple-something, doesn't even have
a dad anymore. And this other kid that stopped by? Yeesh. Big glasses, goofy hair, talked with a lisp..." "Wait, do you mean Twist?"
"Yeah, Twist. Wait, what? No, uh, her name was...look, forget her name, alright? I don't think I'm supposed to tell you that. It's like a confidentiality thing or something. Anyway, point is, this kid has all sorts of terrible problems: she looks goofy as all hell, she's a bedwetter...">Diamond Tiara looks interested "Wait, Twist wets the bed? That is soooo good to know..."
"Huh? Wait...what? No. Forget I said anything. And it wasn't Twist, it was some other goofy-looking annoying filly. You don't even know her." "Uh...huh.">she doesn't sound convinced>you clear your throat
"Anyway, it doesn't matter. Look kid, your Dad loves you, right?" "Yeah..."
"And you don't have to worry about being poor or ugly or Jewish-looking or anything like that, right?" "I guess not..."
"So there you go. Just lighten up, kid. Life's not as hard as you're making it." "Yeah, maybe you're right...">suddenly, you hear the rumbling again>it's much closer this time